In USA elections the candidates with the largest amount of money spent on their campaign tend to be victorious. However this information at face value, doesn’t tell us exactly WHY they win. The amount spent has to be raised, and people are more likely to “donate” money to the party; which better appeals to them. Thus, perceptions rule the world, as a party which carries a better public perception will most probably raise the most money.
In recent times political parties have begun accepting themselves as brands. In the past various political parties had both successful and failed election campaigns.
Businesses have their own brands, which have also experienced success and failure. Whether it is Polaroid losing relevance in the consumers mind at the beginning of the century; Enron and Arthur Anderson with their corruption; alienation of core customers by Harley Davidson, through brand extension which led to overstretch, or whether it is a brand such as IBM or Apple, who after past failures have revolutionised their businesses and brands successfully.
Perceptions are all important, and fashion labels may be the best example of this. Why is a person willing to pay over the odds for one dress over another, despite them being identical? The reason is the brand; more specifically the person’s perception of it. The connection that a person can feel with a brand can be so strong, that it can make a person feel like they are special, just because they are wearing a certain brands clothing or even have a certain technological device.
It is important for businesses of all sizes to do everything they can to both build and maintain a strong brand identity and perception. Be it through advertising and PR campaigns or particularly high quality service or range of products.
I’ll leave with some final thoughts.
The world of brands and perceptions is not that dissimilar to high school. You have the popular kids and the not so popular kids, but virtually all the kids in the school hope to be considered popular.
So I ask you who are the cheerleader, jock, geek and rebel brands?
Who is your brand?